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110th Metalcasting Congress: April 18-21, 2006 * Columbus, Ohio.

More than 2,100 metalcasters gathered April 18-21 in Columbus, Ohio, for the 110th Metalcasting Congress cosponsored by the American Foundry Society (AFS) and the North American Die Casting Assn. (NADCA). The show featured more than 230 exhibits and 40 technical and management sessions covering the latest advancements and technology in the industry.

During the Congress, the AFS Marketing Division and Engineered Casting Solutions displayed the seven winners of the sixth annual Casting Competition. This year's Casting of the Year awards went to Fansteel/Wellman Dynamics' intermediate case for jet engines and Denison Industries' vehicle hull section for an unmanned, underwater military vehicle.

Thomas H. Davies, Carpenter Brothers Inc., delivered the Charles Edgar Hoyt Memorial Lecture April 21. His presentation, "Been There, Done That, Now What?," described the history of the metalcasting industry, the current state of the industry and the direction the industry needs to head toward in the future. His presentation covered a wide range of topics including foreign competition, automation, business plans and continuing education. According to Davies, continuous growth and technology sharing will be the keys to success for the American metalcasting industry.

The AFS Annual Banquet was held April 18. Wayne D. Rossbacher, Foundry Consulting, was awarded the Thomas W. Pangborn Gold Medal.

The Congress concluded the afternoon of April 21 with the President's Luncheon and Annual Business Meeting. Stephen G. Baker, Indianapolis Casting Corp., and Martin Gagne, Rio Tinto Iron & Titanium Inc., received AFS Awards of Scientific Merit. AFS Service Citations were awarded to John Andrews, Neenah Foundry Co., Stephen P. Ducharme, H. Kramer & Co., and David Weiss, Eck Industries Inc. Ted Klemp III received the CMI Directors' Award.
Metalcasters gather at 110th Metalcasting Congress
 Number of Average per
Division Sessions Attendance Session

1 Engineering 4.5 212 47.1
2 Aluminum 5 243 48.6
3 Copper 3 107 35.6
4 Molding 6 287 47.8
5 Iron 7 468 66.8
6 Magnesium 2 114 57
7 Pattern 2 118 59
8 Melting 3 158 52.6
9 Steel 3 112 37.3
10 EHS 3.5 108 30.9
11 Lost Foam 3 136 45.3
13 HR 1 9 9
14 Marketing 1 71 71
TOTALS 44 2143 48.7

Lucchetti Sworn in as AFS President

At the 110th Metalcasting Congress in Columbus, Albert T. Lucchetti, Cumberland Foundry Co. Inc., was sworn in as the new AFS president. Joining him in his new position are Michael Swartzlander, Ashland Specialty Chemical, as vice president and Paul H. Mikkola, Metal Casting Technology Inc., as 2nd vice president.

A 1984 graduate of Bryant University with a B.S. in accounting, Lucchetti served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1968. He remained in the Naval Reserve until 1986. After his service, he joined his father's business, Cumberland Foundry Co. Inc., in the pattern shop. In 1968, he was promoted to production control manager. He became superintendent in 1975. In 1984, he became president of Cumberland Foundry Co. Inc. and has held that position since.

Lucchetti served as president of the Cumberland Business Association from 1989 to 1991. He is a member of the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association, past chairman of the New England Chapter of AFS, past National Director AFS class of 1996 and past chairman of the Cast Metals Institute.

Lucchetti previously served as AFS vice president 2005-2006 and AFS 2nd vice president 2004-2005.

AFS Board of Directors

Albert T. Lucchetti


Cumberland Foundry Co. Inc.

Michael W. Swartzlander

Vice President,

Ashland Specialty Chemical

General Manager, Ashland Casting Solutions

Paul H. Mikkola

2nd Vice President,

Metal Casting Technology Inc.

New AFS Directors

Walter W. Doebler


Williamsport Foundry Co. Inc.

Morgan J. Mullikin

Vice President,

Castalloy Inc.

Henry W. Lodge


Lodge Manufacturing Company

Mark W. Regus

Vice President,

Pacific Alloy Castings Inc.

Craig Merritt

Vice President,

Rypac Aluminum Recycling

Bruce A. Voisine

Manager Industrial Accounts,

Allied Mineral Products Inc.

New CMI Directors

Kelley Kerns

Technical Manager,

Fairmont Minerals

Charles A. Palmer

Foundry Manager,

James Jones Co

2006 Award Winners

AFS Gold Medal

The Thomas W. Pangborn Gold Medal was bestowed upon Wayne D. Rossbacher, Foundry Consulting, Sugar Grove, Ill., "for recognition of 47 years of outstanding contributions in education and training and willingness to share technology for the advancement of the metalcasting industry."

Rossbacher has served on several AFS Technical Committees, including the Honorary Awards and Nominating Committee, the Cured Sand Committee, the Program and Papers Committee and the Executive Committee. He has authored many books and technical papers, including the 1991 Best Paper Award-winning "Low Odor Resin Coated Sand."

He also has won the AFS Service Citation Award and the Cast Metals Institute Director's Award.

Rossbacher is the president and owner of Foundry Consulting.

AFS Awards of Scientific Merit

Stephen G. Baker, senior materials engineer, Indianapolis Casting Corp., Indianapolis, "for contributions in the metalcasting industry which has led to the advancement of green sand molding and core room processes, and in the development of foundry processes."

Martin Gagne, manager of technical services, Rio Tinto Iron & Titanium Inc., Montreal, "for research which has advanced the growth of austempered ductile iron as a major engineering material, and technology transfer which has resulted in processing improvements in the world production of ductile iron."

CMI Directors' Award

Ted Klemp III, president, Cayenne Systems Inc., Ferrysburg, Mich., "for his exceptional contributions to the Institute as an instructor and member of its faculty."

AFS Service Citations

John Andrews, corporate vice president of manufacturing and COO, Neenah Foundry Co., Neenah, Wis., "for sharing valuable knowledge industry-wide, for leadership on technical committees, support of employee participation in AFS activities and general dedication to excellence within the industry and AFS."

Stephan P. Ducharme, technical sales representative, H. Kramer & Co., Chicago, "for dedicated and tireless contributions to the AFS Keystone Chapter, the AFS Copper Alloy Division and the Cast Metals Institute's programs and courses."

David Weiss, vice president of sales and engineering, Eck Industries Inc., Manitowoc, Wis., "for leadership to the magnesium and aluminum industries and service which has contributed to the continued success of AFS committees."

Ray H. Witt and Howard F. Taylor Awards

The Ray H. Witt Management Award is presented "to recognize an AFS management- or marketing-oriented paper that exhibits the greatest probability of favorably impacting the metalcasting industry." This year's award was presented to D.J. Couture (pictured at left) and Larry Stahl (not pictured), both of General Motors Corp., for their paper "GM Resin Selection Process for the Precision Sand Project" (05-171).

The Howard F. Taylor Award is presented "in recognition of the paper having the greatest long-range technical significance in the field of cast metals technology." This year's award was presented to (from I) Stephen Robison, American Foundry Society Inc.; Gregory Woycik, Hayes Lemmerz Tech Center; Bruce Cox, Daimler Chrysler; David Weiss, Eck Industries Inc.; Gerald Gegel, Metallurgical and Process Consultancy; and Michael Marlatt, WFV & Roeperwerk, for their paper "Magnesium Casting Process Development: Designing an Engine Cradle for Magnesium Semi-Permanent Mold Casting" (05-217).


Division Awards Winners

Engineering Div.

Norris B. Luther Distinguished Service Award

Gary Wolfe, retired, CSI Industrial Systems Inc.

Jeff Westover Award (in Industrial Engineering)

Douglas Dallmer, CMS Associates Inc.

Plant Engineering Award

The Dotson Company--Job Shop, Automated Pouring

Best Paper Award

Balanced Scorecard Approach to Management Communications (05-136) Douglas Lively, Citizens Gas & Coke Utility

Aluminum Div.

Hall/Heroult Scientific Merit Award

Makhlouf Makhlouf, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Glenn Stahl Service Award

Festus Fasoyinu, CANMET/MTL

William Frishmuth Award

James Van Wert Jr., J R Van Wert & Associates

Best Paper Award

Mechanisms of Formation and Chemical Modification of the Morphology of the Eutectic Phases of Hypoeutectic Aluminum-Silicon Alloys (05-088)

Makhlouf Makhlouf, Sumanth Shankar and Yancy Riddle, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Copper Alloy Div.

David Kunkel Distinguished Service Award

Kim Keogh, Bunting Bearings Corp.

Best Paper Award

Development of Lead-Free Copper-Nickel Alloys for Food Processing Applications (05-137)

Kumar Sadayappan, Renata Zavadil and Mahi Sahoo, CANMET/MTL

Molding Methods & Materials Div.

Best Paper Award

Improvements in Phenolic Urethane Acrylic Cold Box Binder Technology for Aluminum Casting Applications (05-074)

Judy Rigel, Matthew Hartman and Douglas DeSmit, Ashland Specialty Chemical; and Kara Cole Alberson, Fort Wayne Foundry, Corp.

Cast Iron Div.

Outstanding Individual Service

Vasko Popovski, Elkem Metals Inc.

Outstanding New Committee Member

Ron Walling, Cummins Inc.

Group Service Award

Kohler Company

Best Paper Award

Gray Iron Property Measurements Using Ultrasonic Techniques (05-122)

Hanjun Li, Robin Griffin and Charles Bates, Univ. of Alabama/Birmingham

Magnesium Div.

Sir Humphrey Davy Scientific Merit Award

David Weiss, Eck Industries Inc.

Outstanding Individual Service Award

Magnesium Low Pressure Development Research Team:

Stephen Robison, American Foundry Society

Gerald Gegel, Metallurgical and Process Consultancy

Michael Marlatt, WFV & Roeperwerk

Rob Bailey, BS Metallurgy Inc.

Bruce Cox, Daimler Chrysler

Denison Industries

Outstanding Organization Award

Argonne National Laboratory

Best Paper Award

Magnesium Casting Process Development: Designing an Engine Cradle for Magnesium Semi-Permanent Mold Casting (05-217)

Stephen Robison, American Foundry Society Inc.; David Weiss, Eck Industries Inc.; Gerald Gegel, Metallurgical and Process Consultancy; Gregory Woycik, Hayes Lemmerz Tech Center; Michael Marlatt, WFV & Roeperwerk; and Bruce Cox, Daimler Chrysler

Melting Methods & Materials Div.

Excellence in Committee Activity Award

Charles Shykes, Martin Foundry

Outstanding New Member Award

Christopher DeRosa, Exolon Co.

Best Paper Award

Concepts for Reducing Cupola Charge Material Costs (05-212)

Seymour Katz, S. Katz Associates Inc.

Steel Div.

Outstanding Individual Service Award

Alastair Davidson, Casting Metallurgy & Process Technology

Best Paper Award

Clean Steel Casting Production--Water Modeling Studies of Bottom-Pouring Ladle Operations (06-095)

Selcuk Kuyucak, CANMET/MTL

Environmental Health & Safety Div.

Best Paper Award

Significant Reduction in the Emission Characteristics of the Green Sand Process (05-125)

Victor LaFay, Hill & Griffith Co.; George Crandell, Clifford Glowacki, and Steven Knight, Technikon LLC

Lost Foam Casting Div.

Technical Excellence Award

Fred Sonnenberg, StyroChem US Ltd.

Outstanding Individual Service

Brian Smith, General Motors Corp.

Best Paper Award

Lost Foam Casting Coating Characterization: Heat and Mass Transfer (05-004)

Qi Zhao, Metal Casting Technology Inc.; Hsin Wang, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Scott Biederman, GM Powertrain at Metal Casting Technology; and Daniel Jason and John Parish HA International LLC

Marketing/Management Div.

Jack F. Steel Excellence in Marketing Award

Todd Nelson, The Dotson Company Inc.

Outstanding Service Award

Ruben Bake, Ashland Specialty Chemical

Best Paper Award

Golden Age of Casting, 2005-2050 (05-046)

Michael Swartzlander and Ralph Showman, Ashland Specialty Chemical

North American Die Casting Assn. Awards

Best Congress Paper

Innovations in Marine Propeller Technology: High Ductility Mercalloy 366 Alloy (T06-032)

Danielle K. Visser, Adam E. Kopper and Andrew J. Schulz, Mercury Marine

Instructor of the Year

Scott Kirkman, Kirkman Consulting

Technical Committee Member of the Year

Naoyuki Tsumagari, Briggs & Stratton

Hoyt Memorial Lecture

Thomas H. Davies, Carpenter Brothers Inc., received the honor of presenting the Charles Edgar Hoyt Memorial Lecture at the 110th Metalcasting Congress. He addressed the current state and the future of the American metalcasting industry in his speech, "Been There, Done That, Now What?"

A graduate of Cornell College in 1962, Davies began his career as a sales representative with American Colloid Co. In 1969, he joined Hill & Griffith Co. An employee of Carpenter Brothers Inc. since 1970, Davies held the positions of sales and service engineer and sales manager until his promotion to executive vice president in 1986.

In his lecture, Davies reviewed the history of the American metalcasting industry, beginning with the founding of the Saugus Iron Works in 1642 and continuing up to the present time. Much of his lecture focused on the foreign metalcasting industry and its effect on American metalcasters. He reviewed some of the regulations and other international politics involved in the industry. He also discussed the nine keys to the future success of the industry including: remembering the basics, continuing education, automation, plant improvements, research and development, technological advancement, value-added services, knowledge of the global market and establishing a business plan. Davies detailed these key ideas and gave concrete examples to further emphasize his main points.

"I am very confident that our industry will continue to grow and advance in technology," said Davies. "The biggest reason we will succeed is because the foundry industry is full of smart people. We also share technology, and we have great camaraderie."

"In today's fast moving global economy, our industry must work within itself to succeed, and we cannot depend on others for a roadmap to success."

Cast Iron Honorary Lecture

Carl Loper Jr., retired professor, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, presented the AFS Cast Iron Div. Honorary Lecture. His presentation, "The Wonder of Cast Iron--From an Art to an Engineering Marvel!" (06-155), looked at the development of cast iron alloys from ancient times to the present day and detailed the advancements made in metallurgical technology and improved mechanical properties.

Loper said these cast iron successes are due to a deeper understanding of the metallurgical characteristics of these alloys, which he argued are more complex than those of other alloy systems.

He also said the improvements in cast iron are due to the results of more exacting control in the manufacture of cast irons.

Molding Methods & Materials Silver Anniversary Paper

William Tordoff, AMSI Inc., presented this year's Molding Methods and Materials Silver Anniversary Paper, "Test Casting Evaluation of Chemical Binder Systems." The paper is an update of the original "Test Casting Evaluation of Chemical Binder Systems" published in 1980.

Recently, the rapid growth of aluminum castings for automotive, aircraft, aerospace and general manufacturing has provided an opportunity to refine the existing test castings and develop new methods to evaluate resin ystem performance.

Tordoff highlighted the benefits of all the test casting developments, including the ability to evaluate modifications to resin formulations, which ultimately provides a mechanism to identify the basic cause of defects.

Aluminum Sessions

The sessions hosted by the AFS Aluminum Div. covered a variety of topics, including chemistry and property relationships, metal matrix composite alloys and the effect of tin on aluminum 319 alloy.

G. Sigworth, GKS Engineering Services, and J. Major, Alcan Inc., spoke on the ability to tailor the mechanical properties of aluminum in their presentation, "Chemistry/Property Relationships in AA 206 Alloys" (06-029). The presentation addressed how to use variations in the chemical composition of the alloy within the limits set by the appropriate standard. The results from their statistically designed experiment in which the major alloy elements and impurities were varied according to the limits registered with the Aluminum Association were detailed for the T4 and T7 tempers.

G. Gegel, Material and Process Consultancy, and D. Weiss, Eck Industries, spoke on metal matrix composite alloys in their presentation, "Sponsored Research: Cast Aluminum Short-Fiber Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites: Properties and Fiber Orientation" (06-085). According to Gegel and Weiss, most components do not require the high strength performance capability of aluminum MMCs throughout their entirety. Selective reinforcement using fibers will reduce manufacturing costs. Gegel and Weiss revealed data for three fiber chemistries and two volume fraction loadings of each fiber chemistry.

The presentation, "Effect of Tin on the Mechanical Properties of Aluminum 319 Alloy" (06-118), given by D. Emadi, L. Whiting, V. Gertsman, M. Sahoo, Canmet/ MTL, and R. Mackay and G. Byczynski, Nemak Engineering Centre, investigated the effects of tin on the mechanical properties of W319 alloy used for engine blocks. The group explained the softening effect of tin on aluminum 319.

Cast Iron Sessions

The AFS Cast Iron Div. hosted a number of sessions on topics ranging from shot blast cleaning to the use of image analysis.

The presentation, "Welding Ductile Iron to Steel: A Reality" (06-102), authored by Martin Gagne and S. Leclerc, Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium, S. Helge, N. Stenbacka and J. Tani, Linde Gas, delved into the issue of producing castings that will be used as part of a welded assembly. A new welding technique minimizes the formation of a carbidic zone adjacent fusion line when welding ductile iron to steel. The presenters shared a repair technique for ductile iron castings, as well.

George Goodrich and Stephanie Mroz, Professional Metallurgical Services, Buchanan, Mich., focused on shot blast cleaning with their presentation, "Sponsored Research: Quantification of Shot Blast Cleaning Effects on Cast Iron As-Cast Surfaces" (06-020). The authors aimed to quantify the effect of shot blast cleaning so that as-cast surfaces can be given proper consideration when contemplating the effect that surface quality has on machinability. Their study found that the amount and depth of cold work and residual stress in samples that had been shot blast cleaned for zero to four cycles did not change significantly after the first cycle.

Fatigue strengths were the focus of Prabhaker Gangasani's, Wells Manufacturing Co., presentation, "Evaluation of Fatigue Strengths of Continously Cast Ductile Irons with Predominantly Ferritic Matrix" (06-011). Gangasani reported that following the evaluation of fatigue strengths of continously cast ductile iron samples, the fatigue limits of the continously cast 4512 grade ductile iron were found to be reasonably high and comparable to that of any high quality 4512 grade of ductile iron.

Diecasting Sessions

The diecasting sessions bore testament to the great progress that currently is being made in permanent mold metalcasting. The speakers indicated advancements are being made in thin section diecasting, energy efficiency, fatigue properties of various alloys, marine propellors and diecasting coatings.

In their award-winning presentation, D. Visser and A. Kopper, Mercury Marine, Fond du Lac, Wis., discussed "Innovations in Marine Propellor Technology: High Ductility Mercalloy 366 Alloy" (T06-032). During their talk, they delivered the favorable results of impact tests on the new alloy. Mercalloy 366 sustained less damage upon impact than did the two most popular alloys that had previously been in use--Silafont 36 and squeeze cast 356 alloy.

F. Goodwin, International Lead Zinc Research Organization, Research Triangle Park, N.C.; K. Zhang, A. Filc and N. Tang, Teck Cominco, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; and R. Holland, Brillcast Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich., discussed their "Progress in Development of Thin Section Zinc Die Casting Technology" (T06-012). With a goal of achieving die castings with wall thicknesses of 0.3 mm or less, the researchers so far have achieved higher fluidity out of zinc alloys that can be hot chamber diecast, and they have determined just how much die temperature and cavity fill time affect the extent of cavity fill.

The use of melting furnaces for direct feeding of metal to diecasting machines may be far more energy efficient than previous methods, said D. Schwam, J. Wallace and J. Wannasin, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, in their discussion titled "Melting Efficiency and Molten Metal Quality Evaluation in Die Casting Operations" (T06-013). According to the results of their ongoing study, the use of a 50% ratio of virgin to Type I scrap in the melt charge achieves the optimum cleanliness level.

Engineering Sessions

The AFS Engineering Div. Sessions hit upon the profitability of audit programs, the effects of visual inspection errors and the justification of training, and came to focus, in large part, on pre-casting simulations.

In "CFD Simulations in Magnesium Fluidized Bed Heat Treatment Process" (06-126), S.I. Bakhtiyarov, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, New Mexico, spoke on the use of numerical simulations to determine the radiation heat transfer in magnesium castings. In the fluidized bed heat treatment process, the research showed that castings could be heated more evenly as residence time was increased.

A. Sholapurwalla and S. Scott, ESI Group, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., discussed a method of predicting casting defects on the microstructural level in their presentation, "Integration of Advanced Simulation Techniques with Process Development in the Modern Foundry" (06-032). Casting simulation software now can go beyond what was previously available in that it can predict more than cosmetic defects by understanding stress and deformation, microstructure and mechanical properties, shrink and gas porosity before any metal is poured.

P. Scarber, Jr. and C.E. Bates, the Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala., centered their talk on reducing gas defects in "Simulation of Core Gas Production During Mold Fill" (06-138). To set their simulation apart from existing predictive methods, the researchers studied the formation and movement of core gas. Using a subroutine, they were able to simulate actual gas production from silicate sand cores with reasonable accuracy.

Melting Methods & Materials Sessions

A cast iron gas defect long believed to be caused by a reaction between aluminum and moisture in molds may actually owe to the presence of aluminum nitride, according to "A New Theory for Aluminum-Induced Gas Defects in Iron Castings and Potential Solutions" (06-072), presented by S. Katz, S. Katz Associates, West Bloomfield, Mich., during the AFS Melting Methods and Materials Div. sessions.

The discovery of the source of the defect comes at a time when the benefit of adding aluminum to cupolas is becoming more apparent. Generally, most of the aluminum is oxidized in the cupola, allowing for greater alloy recovery. However, some of the aluminum remains in the iron, causing pinholes at the top of the casting.

Katz said that aluminum nitride reacts with iron oxide to produce the porosity, which accounts for two previously unexplained aspects of the reaction. One, other metals should have reacted with the mold moisture in a similar fashion. Two, only a very slight range of aluminum was known to cause the defect. The discovery opens the door to new methods of preventing the problem, such as the use of strong nitride formers to reduce nitrogen levels in the iron, bubbling with an inert gas, causing a carbon boil or removing aluminum.

Magnesium Sessions

The growing interest in casting magnesium via permanent molds was evident at this year's Metalcasting Congress. The AFS Magnesium Div. also hosted presentations on accurate thermal gradients for casting the metal, modification of magnesium silicates and the use of the metal in the lost foam process.

T. Nguyen, G. de Looze, J. Carrig, V. Nguyen and B. Cowley, CSIRO Light Metals Flagship-Manufacturing and Infrastructure Technology, Australia, suggested a "New High-Yield, High Integrity, Magnesium Permanent Mold Casting Process" (06-074). Having produced several test products, the new process, called T-Mag, combines magnesium melting and permanent mold casting into one machine. They said the process saves money due to the lowered equipment and tooling costs. The process has demonstrated about 95% yield, good surface finish and x-ray soundness, making it ideal for use in the automotive industry.

Discontinuity defects in magnesium castings were the focus of "A Study on Hot-Tear Resistance of Magnesium Diecasting Alloys" (06-092) by M.O. Pekguleryuz and P. Vermette, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The authors found that the AZ91D alloy was most resistant to hot tears, while the AE42 alloy was the least resistant.

Copper Alloy Sessions

Presenters for the AFS Copper Alloy Div. spoke on copper improvements from melting to pouring C Huang, Y. Lai, W. Pan and H.Y. Chen of the Metal Industries Research and Development Centre, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, handled melting in "The Melting Behavior of Cathode Copper Under Vacuum Environment." In a vacuum induction furnace, the researchers were able to limit the oxygen content in molten cathode copper to 1.8 ppm. Other methods of deoxidizing copper during melting, while effective, had tended to increase the hydrogen content of the melt. The lowest amount of oxygen found in the vacuum induction furnace resulted when the researchers held the melt for 20 minutes at 2,192F (1,200C)--any more time caused the content to rise.

M. Sadayappan, D. Cousineau and M. Sahoo, Canmet/ MTL, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, announced their discovery that horizontal pouring could reduce shrinkage in copper permanent mold castings in "Development of Tensile Test Bar to Evaluate the Quality of the Molten Metal for Permanent Mold Casting of Copper Base Alloys" (06-106). The researchers produced test bars using several different copper-based alloys--yellow brass, silicon brass and aluminum bronze. The latter two alloys achieved higher ductility with verticle pouring, but yellow brass suffered from gas defects that reduced its strength.

Marketing Sessions

AFS Marketing Div. speakers offered overviews--one of the Chinese metalcasting market and one of the growing U.S. aluminum market--and a new method of estimating metalcasting facility costs, a task that can be more difficult than for most manufacturing industries.

M.W. Swartzlander, Ashland Casting Solutions, Dublin, Ohio, and L. Yong Sheng, China Foundry Assn., Beijing, China, offered an exhaustive look at the Chinese metalcasting marketplace, examining major metal types, market segments, metalcasting processes employed and facility owner status.

In light of the growing Chinese market, the Swartzlander discussed future opportunities and explored the possibility of American participation in the industry. He addressed several myths about participation in China, saying that many North American customers are already operating in China, the Chinese government and people are very receptive to foreign interests and even small businesses can succeed.

Lost Foam Sessions

AFS Lost Foam Div. presentations included several discussions on x-ray observation of mold fill and several on defects that can result from improper creation of polystyrene patterns.

S.W. Biederman, GM Powertrain at Metal Casting Technology Inc., Milford, N.H., Q. Zhao, Metal Casting Technology Inc., Milford, N.H., and D.M. Matson, Tufts Univ., Medford, Mass., offered a way to eliminate pattern voids that result from defects in polystyrene patterns in their presentation, "High-Speed Video Analysis of Pattern Filling and Fusion in the Molding Operation of the Lost Foam Casting Process" (06-034). Using high-speed cameras, the researchers found that pattern voids often resulted within thin sections of patterns. The voids can be eliminated, they said, only by removing steam flow altogether when filling thin sections.

Offering a "Comparative Study of Some Refractory Filler Materials with Zircon Flour in Evaporative Pattern Costing Process" (06-099), P. Kumar, S. Kumar and H.S. Shan, Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering IIT, Roorkee, India, studied various fillers that can be used to make a zircon flour refractory cheaper in lost foam casting. Their results showed that aluminum silicate with a bentonite binder produced the smoothest surface finish when used as an additive.

Steel Sessions

Presentations for the AFS Steel Div. focused on the general (burn-in and burn-on causes in heavy section steel castings) to the specific (how to minimize defects in battle tank track shoes) and also suggested new methods of reducing air entrapment in steel castings.

Using videos to illustrate the process, S. Kuyucak, Canmet/MTL, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, presented "Sponsored Research: Clean Steel Casting Production--Water Modeling Studies of Bottom-Pouring Ladle Operations" (06-095). Kuyucak explained that much of the air that becomes entrained in steel castings is currently allowed to enter the mold cavity before escaping through the mold itself. Using one of two methods, a small dam near the sprue inlet of a pouring basin or a submerged ladle-nozzle extension into a pouring basin, much of that air could be eliminated from ever entering the cavity because of reduced turbulence. Kuyucak used water modeling, along with two coefficients that accounted for the difference in behavior between water and molten metal, to prove his findings.

Molding Methods & Materials Sessions

The sessions provided by the Molding Methods & Materials Div. ranged from offering new types of molding sand to suggesting a numerical model that would help in golf putter design.

R.E. Showman, R.C. Aufderheide and N.P. Yoemans, Ashland Casting Solutions, Dublin, Ohio, discussed "Using 'Gate Extensions' to Produce Thin-Wall Castings" (06-068). Building on previous studies that explored the use of low-density alumina silicate ceramic (LDASC) to influence the thermal properties of molds and cores, the speakers described engineering techniques that would make the use of that ceramic effective in thin-wall castings. They proposed that gate extensions would direct and control the flow of metal through the mold cavity, eliminating the possibility of misruns, cold-shuts or other complications. Essentially, gate extensions are LDASC inserts that make thin sections in a casting solidify like a heavier section.

Environmental, Health & Safety Sessions

The Environmental, Health & Safety Sessions included a quantifiable follow up of 1990's Casting Emission Reduction Program (CERP).

In "CERP Organic HAP Emission Requirements for Iron Foundries and Their Use in Development of an AFS HAP Guidance Document" (06-031), G.R. Crandell, Technikon LLC, McClellan, Calif., J.F. Schifo, Keramida Environmental Inc., Indianapolis, Ind., and G. Mosher, consultant, summarized the last 16 years worth of attempts to quantify hazardous emmisions from iron metalcasting facilities in an effort to provide individual facilities with information on how to control their pollutants.

Because of the many different organic processes currently in use in metalcasting shops, the quantification of this data has been difficult up to this point. Owing to recent research, though, the speakers offered recommended emissions factors and an instruction package that accounts for the different casting methods. While the recommendations apply only to organic processes, their findings can be extended to non-organic processes where organic cores are used. However, the researchers said there will always be cases where the casting methods differ substantially from those that they analyzed. In these instances, only site-specific studies can be of use in quantifying harmful emissions.

Pattern & Foundry Tooling Sessions

The AFS Pattern & Foundry Tooling Div. submitted a means by which developed nations can compete with low wage nations in the near future through "Robotic Foundry Tooling Manufacturing" (06-059).

J.R. McIntyre, Anderson Global, Muskegon, Mich., offered a sample robotic cell that, if implemented by manufacturers of metalcasting tooling, would increase production while lowering costs. In effect, McIntyre suggested that such a change would move labor up the chain of the manufacturing process. Instead of having people on the shop floor doing all the work, a process driven design would be in place before any of the labor begins.

The presentation focused on a cell that manufactured the contour shape of the tooling. The researchers suggested that such a cell then could be developed for other steps in the manufacturing process, from the creation of pockets, plates, frames and rigging to the final assembly of parts. They also provided hard numbers estimating the increase in profits, as well as the increase in jobs that robotics can generate.
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Publication:Modern Casting
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:May 1, 2006
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